Rae Carruth's conviction upheld

RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal appeals court has upheld former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth's conviction for plotting to kill his pregnant girlfriend.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that statements and written notes by Cherica Adams after she was shot didn't substantially affect the jury's verdict.

The 24-year-old Adams died weeks after she was shot in 1999.

Carruth, who played for the Panthers from 1997 to 1999, was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder, discharging a firearm into occupied property and using an instrument with intent to destroy an unborn child. The baby boy survived.

A man who testified that Carruth paid him $6,000 to kill Adams and the baby pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, as did an accomplice.